What has setting up learning and review methods in teams and the Beatles got in common? If you’re thinking: ‘Not a lot’, you’re right. However, Caroline Allen’s article explains how to do the former and offers you an opportunity to spot the references to 10 Beatles hits within. If you are too young to remember the Beatles, just enjoy the article. If you are too old to forget the Beatles, enjoy the challenge.

So, let me tell you something….too easy? Read on……..

Some of red10’s recent research suggests that as teams, we are putting learning at the bottom of our priority list – especially when it comes to exploiting everyday projects that are here, there and everywhere for what they can teach us. We are not doing enough post-project review but perhaps the biggest shame is that we are not taking advantage of peer reviews. I don’t mean in the academic sense. I mean choosing a team colleague with whom you can come together to carry out post-task, post-presentation, post-project analysis of task and behaviour and to help each other decide what to reinforce and what to change.

Setting up these kinds of arrangements requires trust of course and an agreement on the process and method but it is not difficult to do.

Once you have found someone who wants to hold your hand and do peer reviews with you, first agree your rules. Make sure to consider confidentiality, situations or timing when review will and won’t work for either of you, agree the boundaries (what is open for review and what is not) and agree what methods you want to use.

During a review, you might want to ask questions such as:

What went well for you?

What would you have liked to have happened differently?

Why do you say that?

What would you do differently if you were to start again?

Why do you say that?

What would doing it differently next time bring you / mean for you?

What are you going to do more of or less of as a result of this reflection?

Don’t shy away from questions involving the word ‘Why’. Why? Because it has been a perfectly good form of inquiry for the last few thousand years. Personally, I find ‘Tell me why’ a helpful enquiry but this is a private agreement between two work colleagues. It is up to the two of you to agree the rules so let it be what you want it to be.

Just make sure that you reflect on the processes and methods you are using as well as on the subject matter of the review session. You will then continue to meet each other’s needs and you will both feel inclined to keep going. It’s like any relationship: keep investing in the ‘how’ you are being as well as the ‘what’ you are doing and your peer review relationship will be something you want to get back to. Then you won’t need to wait for learning opportunities to find you. You will find them around you every day with a little help from your friends – I mean, peers.

If you would like the list of the 10 Beatles songs referred to in this article, drop me a line to caroline@red10dev.com